Jocelyn Elliott Freed By Kidnappers, Embarrassed By Fuss - Hope 103.2

Jocelyn Elliott Freed By Kidnappers, Embarrassed By Fuss

Jocelyn Elliott is reported to be in good health and good spirits after being released by her Al-Qaeda related captors.

By Clare BruceMonday 8 Feb 2016NewsReading Time: 3 minutes

Listen: A friend of the Elliotts shares about his experience visiting them in Burkina Faso. This interview was recorded prior to the news of Mrs Elliott’s release.

If there’s a quality that characterises Ken and Jocelyn Elliott, the Australians who were abducted in Burkina Faso – besides their enormous resilience – it’s humility.

Such is their unwillingness to trumpet their achievements, that when Jocelyn (pictured above*) was freed over the weekend, a Channel Nine journalist reported that she was “embarrassed by all the fuss”.

It’s in character; for the 43 years they’ve served the poor in West Africa, they’ve never sought publicity or donations.

Mrs Elliott was released on Sunday, more than three weeks after she and her husband were kidnapped by a group linked to Al-Qaeda on January 16.

The release took place after delicate diplomatic negotiations with the captors. Negotiations are continuing in a bid to see Dr Elliott released as well.

According to 9 News, the group that kidnapped the pair chose to release Ms Elliott after receiving al-Qaeda’s advice “that it should not involve women in war”.

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Still Negotiating For Dr Ken Elliott’s Release

Jocelyn Elliott with Niger's President Mahamadou

Jocelyn Elliott with Niger’s President Mahamadou. Source: Karen Gall

Mrs Elliott is reported to be in good health and good spirits, but the details of her release are being kept secret, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to give the media any comment about the couple as negotiations are still underway for Dr Ken’s release.

Family members of the Elliotts have released a statement that includes an appeal to the captors’ morality, saying, “We are trusting that the moral and guiding principles of those who have released our Mother will also be applied to our elderly Father who has served the community of ‪Djibo and the Sahel for more than half his lifetime.”

Faith And Humility

Jocelyn Elliott with Burkina Faso president Roch Christian Kobore

A relieved Jocelyn Elliott talks with Burkina Faso president Roch Christian Kobore. Source: Karen Gall

Hope 103.2 spoke with a USA-based friend of the Elliotts named Terrell, who visited the couple in Djibo in 2012. Terrell said humility was their standout quality.

“Ken has such great skills as a surgeon, but his motivation is his love of people,” he said.

“I asked Ken one time, “are you a missionary”? And he looked and smiled and said “well it depends what you call a missionary”. I asked him “why is this hospital here” and he said “this hospital is here because God loves people”.

“Ken is just a wonderful, humble man.”

Locals Line Up To Shake Dr Ken’s Hand

Dr Ken Elliott greets a local friend

Terrell said he was amazed one day when they visited a cattle market together, and dozens of people lined up to shake Ken by the hand.

“I asked Ken, “do you know all these people?”, Terrell recalled.

“He smiled and said “No, I’ve either operated on or treated them, or their grandchildren, or someone in their family over the years”. So his impact in that community has been great.”

“Those people would’ve had nowhere else to go, and will have nowhere else to go, if Ken and Jocelyn are not returned.”

He hopes that Ken’s resilience will keep him strong through his ongoing ordeal.

“I would say when people like Ken and Jocelyn have exercised the faith to see their needs met over the last 43 years in that hospital, and the building of it, my hope is that’s the faith now that sustains them through this.”

More Info

To keep up to date with information on the Elliotts follow their supporter social media pages: Facebook – Dr Ken Elliott – ‘doctor of the poor’, and @DrKenElliott on Twitter.

* Main photograph kindly supplied by documentary film maker Karen Gall.